The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Download The Woman in White ebook. The Woman in White is Wilkie Collins’ fifth published novel, written in 1859. It is considered to be among the first mystery novels and is widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of “sensation novels”.
The story is sometimes considered an early example of detective fiction with protagonist Walter Hartright employing many of the sleuthing techniques of later private detectives. The use of multiple narrators (including nearly all the principal characters) draws on Collins’s legal training, and as he points out in his Preamble: “the story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness”. In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed The Woman in White number 23 in “the top 100 greatest novels of all time”, and the novel was listed at number 77 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read
First published serially between 1859 and 1860, “The Woman in White” is Wilkie Collins’s epistolary novel that tells the tale of Walter Hartright, who encounters a woman all dressed in white on a moonlit road in Hampstead.
Hartright helps the woman to find her way back to London. The woman warns him against an unnamed baronet and after they part he discovers that she may have escaped from an insane asylum. Hartright travels to Cumberland where he takes up a position as the art tutor of Laura Fairlie and her devoted half-sister, Marian Halcombe, who are somehow entangled with this mysterious “woman in white”.
Wilkie Collins’s fifth published novel, “The Woman in White” is considered one of the earliest examples of the mystery genre, an early work of detective fiction, and one of the finest examples of sensationalist literature. While the novel was a commercial success when first published it was harshly reviewed by critics of the age. Since that time it has come to be regarded as a groundbreaking work of the mystery genre, one of Collins’s best. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper.
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Wilkie Collins was born in 1824. A close friend and contemporary of Charles Dickens, Collins became one of the best known of Victorian fiction writers. He wrote 25 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays, and over 100 non-fiction pieces. His work showed the beginnings of detective fiction and horror writing. He died on September 23, 1889.
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